Food banks across the country are strained right now, with many reporting dwindling food supplies and some even having to close.
Sherry Tomasky with Hunger Solutions New York explains that SNAP benefits, while it does not replace the necessity of food banks, can be used as a back stop during this time of uncertainty.
“SNAP is consistent, it is stable, it is a resource, it is there for people. In fact right now, many more people are probably eligible for SNAP then they ever have been,” explained Tomasky.
SNAP benefits can often still be used even if you need your groceries delivered or picked up. It is also available for people who have been recently laid off from work due to COVID-19.
For people currently receiving SNAP benefits, they could see an increase in the amount that they can spend on food during the month of April, if they do not already receive the maximum amount.
People do not need to call or reapply. Their EBT card will be updated automatically.
Hunger Solutions New York is also asking Congress to increase SNAP benefits by 15% in the next federal stimulus bill to help support people in the coming months.
“We hear stories of lines out the door, we're hearing stories of lines down the street for people to pick up their meals at school. Those are all very important programs that are giving people daily meals that they need. And the SNAP program can provide that additional support, that constant assistance for that household on a day to day basis where they can continue to buy groceries, continue to make meals for their family,” Tomasky said.
If you're unsure if you are eligible for SNAP right now, visit the Hunger Solutions New York website.